K.C. company plans sand pit close to Eudora water supply
A Kansas City-based company has slated a 169-acre piece of land northwest of Eudora for a commercial sand pit operation.
Once home to a private nine-hole golf course, the property sits just off of North 1500 Road. Kaw Valley Companies has plans to excavate sand from the site and run a sorting and washing facility, said Price Banks, a Lawrence attorney who is representing the company. While the Kansas River isn’t far away, dredging would not be part of the operation.
Next door to the property is the city of Eudora’s well field, the main water supply for the city. Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein expects as part of the approval process the developer will be required to prove the pit will not have an adverse effect on the city’s water supply.
“We will be actively asking that the matter be given special attention during the review process,” Harrenstein said.
Banks said the operations would be built to ensure the city’s wells are not at risk.
“We have engineers working on it, geologists that are consulting with us. We will hire whatever experts are needed to address these problems,” Banks said.
Earlier this week, Kaw Valley Companies held a public meeting for neighbors. Of the roughly 70 people who were notified, around 20 attended a meeting at Eudora City Hall.
Along with impacts to the city’s water supply, neighbors were concerned about an increase in truck traffic on nearby gravel roads and the potential for the pit to weaken nearby dikes that are used to keep back floodwater from the Kansas River.
The company wanted to meet with neighbors before filing any formal plans or applications with the county, Banks said. The pit would need approval from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission and, ultimately, the Douglas County Commission. No plans have been filed with the planning department.
“We don’t want to blindside anyone, including the county commission,” Banks said.
The hope is to move as quickly as possible through the approval process, but Banks said the start of sand pit operations would be contingent on the economy and the state of the construction industry.